Are you looking for southern hospitality with a Parisian vibe? How about creole and Cajun cuisine followed by dancing in the streets? If any of these sound good to you, then you may be overdue for a visit to New Orleans. Filled with tons of year-round events such as Essence Fest, Jazz Fest, and Mardi Gras and even this year’s NBA All Star weekend, here’s our list of travel must-sees in New Orleans.
The French Quarter has to be the most popular area in the Big Easy because of its history, restaurants and nightlife. Treat yourself to delicious beignets at the infamous Café Du Monde or sightsee in a historical neighborhood like Jackson Square or even checkout St. Louis Cathedral in a horse drawn carriage while capturing drool worthy Instagram shots. Also, be sure to walk Bourbon Street, where you’ll rarely see a person without a drink in their hand or colorful beads around their neck.
Streetcars & Steamboats
Streetcars and steamboats probably aren’t the first mode of transportation you consider when visiting a new city, but they’re a staple in New Orleans. They’re cheap, easy to spot, and will take you virtually wherever you need to go. If trolleys aren’t your thing, the Steamboat Natchez is a great way to spend any day as you cruise along the Mississippi taking in the views of the French Quarter and the city along the shoreline. They offer dinner jazz cruises, brunch cruises and more.
Food & Drinks
New Orleans happens to have some of the most drool-worthy food in America. A meal can be as simple as a shrimp po’boy or as intricate as a delightful entrée of crawfish etouffee. For the best Cajun and creole cuisine, we recommend staple restaurants such as Commander’s Palace, Emeril’s, and Muriel’s Jackson Square. If fresh caught seafood is on your mind, Deanie’s may be the perfect spot for you. Be sure to wash it all down with the famous hurricane, which is a sweet alcoholic drink made with rum, fruit juice, and grenadine.
Swamp Tour – Bayou
Have you ever wanted to get up close and personal with an alligator? For those who love exploration, nature and adventure, you can’t visit New Orleans without getting down and dirty in the Bayou. Swamp tours require a little traveling outside of the tourist areas, where you can hang out with ten-foot alligators and other swamp life. These tours are especially great for nature lovers as you get a chance to view bald eagles, herons, minks, turtles, as well as flora and fauna.
Mardi Gras, French for Fat Tuesday, brings people from all over the world to the Big Easy for a series of parades featuring over the top floats and even more outlandish costumes. Mardi Gras itself signifies the end of the Carnival season as it falls before Ash Wednesday, the first day of lent. Be ready to party from the time you wake up and well into the night.
What are your absolute favorite things to do in The Big Easy? Hit us up on social media and tune in every Friday for ‘The StyleList’—Your weekly roundup of the hottest fashion, trends and pop culture on ONX. Hosted by Kinya Claiborne, STYLE & SOCIETY Magazine.
By Monique Wise